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Full text of "In the matter of a fire that occurred in the Hollinger Consolidated Gold Mines, Limited, and in the matter of an inquiry under the Public Enquiries Act, N.S.O., chapter 20"

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PART I. ' 


' '■•;:' ~ ? . : r * 

A Fir© that oeouwed lis the 

lllng«r Consolidated 
;lnea, ted, 

inquiry under 

FART I. and 


The iioXllnger Consolidated Holt ®a § United, 

•Oploys anorOXiflMtely tW#j:t - iV© hundred 8M»tt, ft ml at 

tia© of the outbreak of site fir© in quest io nine hundred 
and few© one werknan were employed uad d» 

e fire started in stone 5£>~ A east of crosscut 
12 on the 560 foot level of the SJoli." onsolidafcod Gold 

itines, Ifeltod, at ar>pr©3*l£2ately fifteen alnutes past nine 
» ^loek on the taeraing of the 10th day of FetHPuar?t 19f 

fee taaterlel i e stone was dry rofuao frota the 
thaw house, ant! fuse and eap houses situate on the 660 foot 
level, and consisted of paraffin wrapping paper, powder box* 
es, box llds 9 sawdust, a© ends, and some detonators* 

■ This v*tu»m in the stope covered a surface of 
twelve feet wide by one hundred feet lonn **ith a depth 
of about forty~five feet, end appeared to hove been pieced 
on waste rook fill* 

joke and poisonous gas geaerated by the fire 
was driven by Its volume against the natural air - j cmts 
In the drift* and travelled approximately in length one~ 

quarter of a s&le and In wl&tl t*0&4 a mil® in the 
f>50 foot level within fifteen nlnutee affc«>r swfce wee seen 
or recognised. It alee penetrated In similar density, 

I in about the aasse period of time, portions ef the 48® end 
m& fo ovela* 

It 10 .%M» on the morning o t fire, werlroen 
were being actively withdrawn fro© the mine, and at §i9Q 

. . , after a complete cheeking up c e sum and t » Xo~ 

cations, it was ascertained that 40 saon a til"; wwmH under* 

t 10 A. • of the raoi' *>f the 10th, the body 
of Ira Graham waa recovered and brought to the eurf&ee fro* 
e G£f> foot level, and at 10*41? ♦ . 19 :? of 
. • tevens wae recovered In crosscut :-4 on the 4&£ foot 

Twelve ef the 49 taeii then unaccounted for were lo» 
eated and brou$tt to the surface In fair physical oonrt? 
at various times net later than 3 sir ♦ . on the lit* . 

The first of the lia$u*isoned wen te reach the 
surface wao . lob, a sealer, who, at 1; »#, c o 11th, 

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n*dft hi* way frota the 675 foot level to the open, unaided t 
and beset by difficulties and dangers. The resourceful- 
ness of and encouragement given toy I •'„ Jackson, a scaler, 
(a Lances!* ire miner and one of :iolob f s entrapped coopan* 
ions), tnad© it pos ibl© for so loo to sralntain sufficient 
strength to attempt the effort to gain the surface* 

By achieving hi® objective, ' olob probably saved 
the lives of his four companions and gave infonaation that 
was ©f the utrsoat value to the rescue parties, olob 
and Jackson need no cotaoendation from m, ttiey have 
written their naiaes on the scroll of brave and resourceful 

Between 10:00 *,&'. of the 11 th and 7:30 . * of 
the 13th, and at various tiniee on the intervening days, the 
bodies of 37 men vmre taken frost the nine by the several 
rescue parties* 

The fir© caused 30 fatalities, death result! 

frora carbor rsionoxide poieonin<;. 

The origin of the fire has not been determined. 

The levels affected, the men working thereon, 
and the fatalities are as follows: 

...ovol :c:i *. orl Fatal ities 

ii ■ m i — i ■ — — — ■ m i ■ —ii iikw m i ii > »»i -»» 

435 51 5 

650 73 16 

675 53 VI 

800 M 5 


Dry thaw house refuse In its part* and la an 
stance was of an isiflamafele nature and aa sueh an 
apparent fire haaard. Its prvpmr disposition, there- 

fore, was of the utnoet iisport&nee as a measure of protec- 
tion against the occurrence of fire* 

There, waa an OBieaien on the part of the General 
M*aa§er lis not inquiring or knowing bow and «>«re each ir- 
flmmmhtm natter waa being p laced • 

Wie Assistant Oeueral $e»a||er waa. reals® in not 
personally aatiafyinc himself that thaw house refuse waa 
coin** dispose-l of through the eentral waate pass, or by 
other p&Qpm* Method diluted or sdaed with waate roefe and 

•jp naterlal aa he had been Intended waa the practice of 
the Cowpany »ith roapect thereto* 

not oda of dlapoaal of thaw house refuse were * 

I* •»»* to the surface and burned under esine boilers* 

This practice waa stopped or. account of sat nor explosions 
occurring prwcusr frost detonator* , or Seattle, W had 

beeeae edxed with the refuse* 

By deals i c the General Superintendent and the 

Mine superintendent , mOm in 1083 or thereabout , two options 
for diapoaeX of thaw house refuse were Given i 

(a) through the current waste pass. 

Being sent through current waate paes, It wou7. 

Intermingle with the waste flow # bo dwr*n off at the low- 
eet level, used as backfill, or taken to the surface, re* 
dmaped* and again sent down the taine to be need where neod~ 
ed. This process was a reasonably safe method of dlapoa* 


(b) iroet to otopes w> iob were being backfilled, 



TMs method, without complete dilution or mixing 
of the refuse with waste, imported danger, 

erefore imposed upon the General uperintet*de»t and Mine 
■uporintendont to keep themselves Informed If this pre* 
scribed manner of disposal waa being properly and safealy 
carried out. In this duty they failed, 

3, tunsping of thaw house refuse in e©pty s topes 
where b&ckfilXlnc was not being done* 

This dangerous and hasardeus plan seems to have 
been adopted without orders fron the General "uporintend- 
ent or the ^ine Huperintoadent, Frost a system of per* 
islsalble dilution as referred to in clause C, tlto practice 
beeaoe one of complete segregation of inflasasable rubbish. 

Officials who is ued orders pertaining; to isethods 
and practices to be observed and carried out in the dlepos** 
al of thaw house refuse underground failed to keep themselves 
Informed if such rawti o^s and practices wore being Maintained* 

Verbal ordere were given where written orders 
were advisable in order to fix responsibility and as a pre* 
ecu ary measure # 

ffe© failure to iaaue writ I ohNUmm r««pi«ting the 
met* od of dlapoeal of thow houaa rofuao aa determined by the 

General ©091 . tendon t and Sire uporintaiidettt, and the ab» 
eanee of any cettplefco recortf prior to April, 1027 # of et?pe© 
in proeeaa of being baekfilled w#ro contributing eaueea of 
the fire* 

The laek of co»es*dinaticm in the organisation of 
the coapany resulted Ifl a disjointed eyatets of eontrol, there* 
by permitting the iiaproper damping of tfea* fcoua© refuae in 
enpty etopea 1 1 ov«© there waa no concurrent act of haekf illing 

or ©overlnr * 

. fhe QmMNkk 1&UMG0* &«<$ *H# ^.assistant oesterel &an 
agar eannot, dleeooiate thesaeelve© fro® reeponeiblllty for 

air own organi nation i and, in oy epini a, r.:-.e reapor f eibil~ 
- of a General Hanagor and Ae©l& >»eral :*anBger ia 

not liiaited in extent ov tine, where it eonoeroe the ©nfety 
or protection of tha worSaaen or ©there under then* 

It ia a fact Miat thaw houao rofu&e was being 
placed in stop© 56- a for a period of two or two anil a half 
year© prior to tha tisae of tha fii*w 9 m& it ia an tad 
fact that stop© 66- A had not be©?? baekfilled a in 00 April, 
1087. It la further in evidence, end I find aa a fact, 

that thia ©ondltlon prevailed "tori he yaar 1096 or earl- 

fhoaa worfcraan Who placed it, an oaa w!o aaw or 

know of it being ee placed, wero in -ont # practleal sain- 

are. eapable of appreciating the danger of the act and owed 

a duty to their fellow *mrkraer} to report the f ot to the 
fety Inspector, their superior officer, or in* Ooweris- 
©ent »ine Inspector. 

The Oenaral uperir;tondant f the Hi- i uperintend- 
ent, the Production uportn endont, TrturiaportaUon Tmem* 

mm under hira,^ later ( HarlntendeRt of , 

Transportation Boaaea and Ceaqpany ' afety Inspectors knew, or 
should lave known, that thaw house infuse was not being 
thoroughly ssixed with or coiagiXeteiy covered by waste rook, 
sand or gravel* and therefore in fcM® oondit e .instituted 
a nonaoe* 

?haae officials In their reapeetivc respo 1© 
posi I fonaeel links In th# ehaln that bound the executive 

«tf » ■■■ » *» fch. MIM Mi .: I to* MMt th. 

whole gl« a cosipaet Organisation . Pc. o to properly in* 

struct, to enquire, to know, $>rewented cohesion and lot in 
a pmctico which in an insidious aannwr, sil< * grow into 

« recognised system, or seewptwd icy, tf creating a 
condition which mde pc ire in question. 

The danger wait not recognised by those w* o ordered 
or pared tted it, or bv those who actually diapoaed of eu* 
refuse. *reia the aeneral ran Agar down the scale of 3he 

Organisation to the makers, no one thought of a fire 

oweurr . .1 minda twere oblivions to the 

faat the* thaw ;*e refuse, being highly inflaiwaablo, waa 
orefora a dangerous nubatanco whan ao left und 

la security of mind ia, I think, uaelnly account- 


©d for by a msaber if aeematXatod elreurcetanooa. 

On th* part of the anagenorfc astf organisation 
of tV*e Conpenyz 

(a) -noentrntlon on pro&ueti « 

Cb5 tominlt:? from metal ciine fire* in Ontario, 

(e) wot quarts sal no* 

(a) Tfc© abeeneo of timbering in o#ontity. 

(e) ?h* -enount of 'at© rial involved lis the tfiopoeal 
of thnm house refuse being ineifpiifiesnt in comparison with 
ether w«jot» opemtloas of the MtM« it beeat&e obaettr©<2 and was 

By th« tarn who placed the waat© op aaw It being 
placed without eonplalnts 

(a) She habitual and long use of oil-r s a« pro* 
tootle sainet wet an4 dampness In a cool,aatap nine lngueeA 

a placid state of v&Xitfl undisturbed by though^ a e re« . 

(b) A reliance upon the jud&aent of o%r»orionood 
officials over th/m who ordered or permitted th© practice, 

(a) tfho ©tope Itaolf with its dripping walls not 
being eowbitstible presented the seeurttv of an incinerator, 

(d) ftat a fire eould a tart within sue?- a reoc 
tacle waa e remote possibility end, if it did occur, w> 

l.-o ihphImmn . 

(e) Pejtillarity with powder ftaea* 

These suppositions are In extenua' > the 

ejslsslon to realise the awnaoe that such combustible taaterlal 

preaantad. It vaa no* a no loot of a condition that vaa 

realised, bat an o&ie«ion to realise & aondi? 

. • 

ootid 171 of tho renins &m% dvflnaa tfea pawava 

end duties of a (/ovormaettt 81na Inapootor as foil ova: 

Vttb-aaotlon (1) 'Jfe a? bo the duty of every 2r 
epootor, 8»s l\o afcall hava pern**,-' 

(©) to axa»s?na into and mke inq &ry respecting 
the atato and condition of a^y Bine • ♦. and all onttera 
and thi»@a ootmeatad with or relating fco the aafety of 
tho paraona alloyed la or m »i«a ... end to :;iva 

notice to tha owner or agent In vrttin^ of any pa: 
lara in which ho ft *® ©i*a» mine or any portion thai*©* 

of f or any oat top, thing or practice to bo dangerous or 
defective # *» and to require fha mm to b© raraadiad vlt" 
in the time named la auefc notice, 

.a duty la, thvpvfora, taJO*»f*ld» 

?•> asamlna Into and to naka inquiry . 

The Inapeotor of Mnoa of the ^oronolna S&aiag M» 
via Ion did arnica inquiry aa to hem thaw hone© refuse vaa being 
dlapoaad of and upon being aaaurad by tl oil near rafte- 

ty Inspector that anon rofuao vaa bains aant i- ^# the 
eantrai vaete paaa* hi a »lnd vaa aatiaflad and tha inquiry 
e;r.-. l« Sh* anavar from Hia etandipaint of aafoty vaa a ©«*., 

lafaotory ona and raaaaurlng to the inapactor, a Inepae toj 

hovaver, did not ©samine into tha "atafca and condition of ttte 
aine" roapeeting tha diapoael of a dangerooa la&tarial au4h 
aa tfcav houaa refuse* An exM&nati ;>» of tho taina with 

reference to t^ia material vould have ehevn that the afa* 
Inspector^ atateraant vaa partially hut not wholly true, aa 
ttoa fact vaa that thav house refuse vaa being aant only at 
tit; , thrvqojl Ifca iv vtoml mate aaaa aiMfl VMM finnpamtl] 


stopee where beskf tiling was Id process or had bean definite- 
ly suspended. 

♦She Inspector ssado 1* a practice on his visits 
to ti'la rdne to inspect the thaw houao end his ulttd was 
necessarily affected by the knowledge that there would be 
inflatable debris to be disposed of ef top the powdor was 
removed frets the boxes* It was not, therefore, forgetful- 
neaa t bat paafclvity, on his part* I aa&uranoo had 
been given and accepted. It ended there, 

The Xnepeetor was laialnforwed by t&a SMUPeiy Xn- 
•pec top, a responsible official of the mine fro® who© ha had 
a rlflht to essu&e a candid and aecwsto a»a^#p would bo given 
to Ms inquiry* It was not a wilful saisstate 5 ent of * 
fact, bat a rer«ly given in ignorance of a fret &*at It was 
his, the Safety Inspector's, duty to know* 

An Inspector, to justify Ma appellation and pur- 
pose, should be satisfied only with what he actually knows 
to be a fact, net what he la told t* hears, Be should 
be thorough* possessed of an inquiring wind, anS. eternally 
vigilant, mo attributes* he will at once Impress 

upon (as the feet should be) , a mine organisation and eta- 
ployeos that the spirit o the regulations of the Hint ct 
tauet be strictly and closely obserwed* 

The iwpartjoent of SSinee la lrapote: its effect* 
ivenoss If it cannot rely u; I s officials 1 ,r sever- 
al responsible positions* jpartaent had a right 

- 11 - 

to assume that it* Inspector would Inspect In the full 
sons© of tho tests* and as interpreted by the language and 
esse ice of tho Eegulati n* of tho Mini ot« 

'The fining Act issposee upon tho Inspector tho du- 
ty of oxomlnirc Into end inquiring respecting *£he etete 
end condition of any mine* end "ell ©ette?»e end things 
connected with., or role ting to tho safety of the persons em- 
ployed*' • 

■e ssfoty of the' persons employed ssmy not be pro-* 
tooted without en ese&lneti n Into tho state end condition 
of the Bins* •She iswo req drst&onte of the "eetior., if 

sgsralssdj siumld gt*s Mw assttfenes eiaed at. The pres 

or disposal of thew house refuse Is closely ell led with 
eafety. An inquiry, therefore, without examination, wee 
not e compliance with the Act, c Inspector wes resales 
In accepting e statement concern!: -.r e possibly dangerous 
eea41tion ea a fact without e continued personal e on fi me- 
tier, of it, 

tfes statutory raty ef the Inspector end the 
rsc jlbility of the operators and saanage^ent are asperate 
and dlatlnct obligations* oh has a stern lsaposeft 
by law, tfh« neglect of one do a not relieve the responsi- 
bility of the other. the duties of a Ooemaent Kino In- 

ootor are circumscribed j these of an operator or menage* 
meat un< ?>ed in connection with or relet; * o the 
safety of the persons esa?l oyed in a nine. 

Die fact appears to be that, in no pert ef the 

north American Cop Unenfc, where natal alnee are in opera* 
felon, ia there * specific re#>lre«eiJt by law or regulation 
that etapty boxes, paper and combustible refuse neat be 
brought to the surface, and the further fact ia that eueh 
refuse, aa a general practice, ia placed underground «het> 
It la accompanied by ft filling of fcsato reck or other aira- 
liar material . 

The laenngeBent of the Caapaso', its officials and 
wovtaaen uaed expedition In locating and relieving the nan 
frets underground, *w the mmmt smite was detected 

and reported, officials and worknen, unraM»dfuX of danger, 
gave freely of their services in the eensaon teak of reaeue, 

tore station and thorough "idoreti on, 
8r# geiftiien, * ■everraBent utm Inspector^ at 1: . ., 

.i tarda-*, the 11th, ordered the fan to exhaust. The 

evidence Indl e aw SO hla decision t© have been practical and 
salute • 

Hie appliances gratuitously supplied and brought 
to the nine by the Conaumere* Has Company, Limited, of 
Toronto, aided the respective acta of resiieelta? and 

The complete rescue exjulpnent and apparatus 
kindly cent by Mr. least Turner, M net? tor of the United 

tatea Dureaa of I'lnea, in charge of experts in the 
science of fitting m& controlling underground fires, 
were effectively uaed in subduing the fire, restoring the 
normal air currenta and thereby permitting with aafety 


the eKateination of the mine *n4 the recover of the bod 
ios of those who had lost their lives, 

go boundary lino was recognised In the act of 
co-operation between neighbors Interested In the seme 
Indue tr « In sharing s burden, the tie of conradee* ip 

bocaise were closely knit. 

The evidence supports the sup osltl ?n that, with 
the density of siaoke that prevailed In Hie parte of the 
sine effected, no known or adopted rescue apparatus or 
equipment would have saved a life that was lost, 

as a aeesure of protection , it la not so tmch 
the nature of the equipment required to ;*eet and contend 
with an emergency as the eaorolao of i I ant vigilance 
and anticipation of and concentration on essentials by all 
Interested or employed in the developed)!: o" a olno» 
An underground fire no«d not oecun- in a wetal «lne except 
fron iseans be I the control of ntm* 

The Oowalsslon * Issued und^r m *B\m Public 
' irioe red sw to inquire lnto 9 inveetlgate 

and report upon the causes of the fire which occurred In 
the Hollinger Kine between the 10th and the 15th days of 
February 1068, and to fix rer. orefor r 

to sake euch vuggeetlono and reooawaoncktions in conneet- 
with or «* rising out of the ©aid flaw 110 In toy judg* 
tsent the circulate noes warranted and to report the evi- 
denee and facta brought out, together with my findings, 
end generally to emercise nil auch authority aa mi^ht bo 
essential for ft full and complete inquir . 

Pursuant the v. 'ice was publicly given 
that the Cooniaaion would hold ifce first witting® at tho 
Town of Tltaalns on Monday, tho £7th day of Februar , 
1^23, to imiulre into and investigate tho causes of tho 
aold fire and to flK veeponalMllty therefor. 

Mr» Peter Vhito, E»C, acted aa r nun»ol for tho 
mission, and wit m was aa ated Dr. George He* 
aaitl in « consulting capacity; . . Gordon t (associated 
V7iti; :>• T« B* ^oborte in his capacity aa practical ®ln~ 
or), represented tho fatnora: . w t Inland- 

or labourer* off 00 tod: &n:s : i», . . l !; cht represented 
tho rollln^or Consolidated Oold Mines at tho sittings. 

*flhe inquiry at Tiinsina occupied eleven censer 
tive week days, and dur5 1 ino 8? witnesses were 
heard and or. inspection wad© of Hie ntonoe and other work* 
tegs, w ich were the subject of the evidence end r^ln f ive 
to the iaauee being heerr. 

That en underground fir© had not occurred in 
tho nines of the Province of Ontario waa the Justified 
boast of ita raining industry, ly § quiotly, un- 

observed, ft flame burst 01 , A fire had been kindled; 
It biased; then ftr.oulderedji thai censed. In t$M» 
brief time of its cruelty, tMrtr-alne hunan lives had 
been terminated by the outpouring of Its stsoke and cue. 
Consternation followed complacency; chagrin replaced pride . 
The feelings of 8600 wortaen and officials of the Tlollingft-r 
Bine hsd boon rudely and ruthlessly shoeteed* 

Ito* evidence was that of workmen and of flolals 

of tho Holllngor &ine, then or heretofore In Its employ* 
qaiotly and with dignity, the:? told what they fcnew, 
Thore was hesitation throu$* diffidence, but restraint 
through fear was not manifest or admitted. As witness 
followed witness until the research was exhausted, the 
paramount no to of their evidence waft, "We did not tSiink of 
fire ?; It newer entered, our mln&a* 1 . SSen with Univers- 
ity degrees, skilled in their profession, practised in its 

application} workmen, experienced and tried in underground 
mining* gave no % ht or heed to the possibility of fire 
arising from the manner and method of tho practised dis- 
posal of thaw house refuse; in tho subsequent light of 
what occurred, a seemingly extraordinary admission, hut, 
viewed in the atmosphere of t* e r o vlrowaent, a state of 
mind that can be understood, 

•Stoat the scales of Justice r 1 be ewenly 

bsl&noed, it was neeesaary that I should weigh the 
unaffected by the glare of tho fire. I have, therefore. 

diasociat©d ray wind from the dooonetrated fact that 
thaw house refuse was highly inflammable ana required 
the ufeEioat oar© in Ita diapoee' a I have heard a 
mae® <ff ovidoneo on th© nntur^ of thaw hous© rofuae, 
ita disposal, and th© inconsequential attitude of zaind 
of all eoneerr-ed in reapeet th#*©to« %'«• it a Men- 
ace that should hav© been realised* 3§r* the condi- 
tion© at the flelllnger Ho© «ueh that what in ltaolf waa 
dangeroua had been reduced to a degree of safety by it© 
aaenaed or known pr«o"ioe of disposal? ^at ehould 
trained and experienced ©inert have anticipated? If 
the danger was re© Used, had it been e areloaaly over- 
looked in the effort to get inereaaed production, or 
otherwise? HI thee© pertinent and moot questions 
and ether relevant faeta I analysed and carefully considered 
and have found the faeta aeeordL y t 

To©© of the public unfacaillar with the indue 'ry 
of mining with ita many pressing geolocioal, faotallurgical 
and economical problems, and without a concept ior of the 
vaetneae or physical interior of this, the largest gold 
sin© on the continent, rauat neeeeaarily fail in forming a 
eeund ©pinion ©f the d©@»e© of re ; ity for the 
©aue© of fir©. 

oa© who guided th© activities of the mine, 

and tl*ose who gave their cervices, one and all testified 

to a belief in a atat© ©f physical aeeurlt , Tbia out- 
standing faet wuet b© baaed upon eeae ©wanan reason and 


can: ot lightly be diataissod in measuring the decree of 
neglect or responsibility for what occurred. I have 
given reasons why thia sta'o of wind prevailed, ami If 
the suppositions which X advance are tenable, the omis 
a Ion can be said to be a neglect of a condition that be~ 
car.*e obscured; lost traek of in the concentrated effort 
for increased production which the Directors, as a body 
of buslneaet&en f properly sought If the raine lent Itself 
to it., and which the shareholders would have a right to 

The evidence done not indicate, nor do 1 find, 
that a recognised danger vm ea eleesly eaat aside In 
order to achieve taajor production* It was t the 
material was being safely placed. If so, the emission 
was to know that it had been so placed* 

There was a dependence by the taanaget^ent upon 
officials undc:r thesi f a»d these officials upon the work* 
©en, but no one so to it that the chain of continuity 
of action was complete* 

I aa deeply Impressed with the esagnltudo of the 
responsibility the mnefssaent has in the conduct of this 
ttlne. It eoploys approximately 8000 Ren, of when 
1540 work undergrounds 09 beeses direct the workmen under 
theau there are 100 alloc of drifting ana crosscuttlngf 
8 alios of raises and £eser~ shafts • e water pumped 
fro© the mine saounts to 836.00: 1 Gallons a day} there were 
370,000 tons of waste rock put back in s topes last year. 


end 306,00 tone of send and gravel w«s»o placed In 
worked out etopes between my and Koversber of 1087. 
There oro 

(a ) 156 werteiir; atopea 

(b) 113 s topes ready i« filled 

(o) 36 ©Kspty atopes not filled 

(d) 09 stones in process of toting filled 

(e) 153 stopes partially filled 

(f) 42 e topes filled and reedy to ro~ 

cover eille or in process of 
recoverinf . 

A eighty undertaking; , end e tribute to the s^roogeee-nt that 
brought it out of ite swaddling cloth oe In 1012 to en 
enelgeaetion of properties with its present production of 
over 6,000 tone per day. 

<&i* «tninc industry of Ontario has no ocoeeion 
to bow its head. Xt etande at the forefront of aanngo* 
mont enl t ohiove&ent; end wy association wit; the industry, 
enbmcing ee it does the prospector who leede the way to 
discoveries, the bona fide proEsotor who etarte the proa- 
pec t on its way to development, the roenagessent wfcieh wine 
the ore frees the roefe aided by verkpten loyal end contented, 
is vsy noet treeeured aeeet. 

Ihe quiet, unobtrusive en- 1 , unbiased manner in 
which the testimony wee given by all, the oompoeure of 
those, interest ted ee bereaved or in the safety of their 
fellow worteen, sitting with outwardly tranquil alnds 


the trying ordeal of eleven daya of testimony 
iatswdiatel? following the tragedy, wee impressive end 
dignified, and beepoke the spirit of thiS i who dwell in 
the north. 

Environment aeulds eharaoter* Tragic circua* 

stances evolves heroes, I vividly reete^ber Fred Jack** 

son, quietiy amd unostentati ■ ualy tolling hia story of 
conflict with nature's forces, itfcout exaggeration or 

boast fulness, ho rooitod how ho and hia four companions re- 
treated free) one vantage point to another, slowly end 
stubbornly backing away from the fuises of the deadly gas; 
toe he turned on the air and directed it against a plank 

cause the current to rebound* connected lengths of hose 
in an ettecspt to blow the aeioke away? and how he out hie 
soock in four pieces and unselfishly gave his companions 
a piece to place over their souths* 

and then ?olob*s determination to break threjaajh 
the impenetrable barrier of smoke end win his way to the 
surface* itoet took place between Jackson end f.olob at 

that critical saeswnt is beet told as Jaelrson gave it, 

J n c ' . s ejfl s '-i d ■ 

Ky light was only a light about half an if 
f.olob put it into his lm p and fixed Ms lamp 
end get a light, put his packet on his back, took 
a piece of blasting stick about four feet long, 
and he said* «X &o try* . I says, *0od blesa 
you'. He says, % l try o out* Siaybe I die f 
raayb© not.* I says, •Den«?t go, George.' At 
says, M)to # yes, I go'j ao he got up and aot off 
down the crosscut.*' 

"Bwybe 1 dle f maybe not' • Failure noant 
death; suocess, life to himself and his eoapanl o a. 

die tat east. Ttw ecwege »ee there, ** d Eolob fought 
his nay to the light of day » Jackson's resourcefulness, 
ref looting the not to of tfea t. John's &abulance Qilf g of 

which he was a sieraber, !; Fpo Fide, nr. oisinun*, 

and Zolob 1 * strength and determination aecoeipliahed the 
ilngly icapos«*ible. 

And than Villiancourt, the civ otender. "His 
was seen, the signal eivcn. Up went the con© to 
investigate* and then to report at tho swrfac*. wn 

again to give warning* *&* *«* t*P «wd dee* with his 

massage of wamirv- until ho lost control. ftm& Poulin , 
the shift boss* hunting his *•»*- courting death; a duty 
to be dons; George Pond, the foremen, who thought of his 
men and not Fhitaself s *■'.:■"' '• 

ous men it was oy privilege to hear as witnesses. e 
lilne SJonagej*, Officials and workmen all ready and anxious 
to stake the descent? not a refusal, not a hesitant amongst 
the© i a tribute to the manhood of the Horth, Made sturdy, 
strong and true by their contact with nature** forces end 
their f ellowtter , 

The Fire lepertment of the City of Toronto sent 
Its best* "She Consumers Oas Company of the same 
ity answered the call* and the Bureau of a of the 
I ted H tat as of America* without a moment's delay, 
hastened on its way their nine rescue car, fully equipped 
and manned by distinguished officials, >e leilroads 
opened their line* and 1000 nilee was cowered in a period 


eleven hours less than would be taken by the fastest 
press train . 

full Is this tragedy or duty well done that 
it deserves the pen of one worthy of the material • It 
is not for me to dilate at further length. 

The depend nta of t* oee who lost their lives may 
have the assured consolation that all that huoan ingenuity 
or resourcefulness could do was done, that no hunan agency 
could have saved a llfo that was lost and that those 

hour had cotae passed on their way to other and higher ac- 
tivities without a struggle, quietly, ealraly and unconsci- 
ously stepplnc aeross the Great Divide, 

As Corami as ion er, I as? deeply indebted to the 
workmen of the Zollinger &ine, to the dependents of those 
who lost their lives and to the citizens of * innins, for 
the confidence they reposed in the Cosw&eslon and all 
associated with it, and for t: eir deportment during the 
hearin . 

"Behold how great a natter a little fire 
klndleth": Jasaes, 3 6, Out of a ehaos of facts, a 
simple less n ernerges: It need not have been: a sad 
refrain, but ow true and beyond cavil or radiction. 

Let the curtain drop on vtoat has been and rise 
on what is to bo, thereby allowing confidence and morale 
to restore itself, is toy parting word. 

COWir I 

Toronto, VM7 l^th 1028. 




'I'liniiiiuiiiiii iiiiiiiii 
mm inifii liiiiiiiiiiiitiMiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiij 




A. ,* 

•The fire that occurred in tho 

x:: m 8a' 

inquiry under the Public XnquiHoa Aet f 
1t«S«0« f Chap. SO* 

?■ ■ ii. 

Use prisaar^ ol>^#et of thin Cesmieelott waa to 
determine hew end why the fire thet; occasioned ihia 
inquiry occurred. I eubsaitted ay eoneluaiona 

thereon in Part jU • ** report* 

Klnda had become quickened by the ahoek of 
the unexpected » ffee time waa propitious and the 
atage wae rret to farther inquire 1 the method* en* 
ployed by operating and producing »in«* general Xy to 
oombat poaaible or probable firea, their faollities 
for rescue and reauaoit&tion, ami otherwise the oeana 
euiployea for the protection of their und ound work- 

a full purpose ef fchla Coasslaaion ould not 
be fulfilled without aueh inquiry and reiser t up 
ita dollberationa, with aueh rocoarjendationa aa tfoe 
faota aeeeeaitate* 

• 2 • 

X oauaod ft ou&sono to lama© dlrootod to tho 
ISonftgor of all tbo producing «!««• in Ontario arte* el* 
«o .invited Profoosor fJ«&*t* Houltol n # of Toronto Uni- 
versity, and ?rofoo»or 'Jm&iKa, of won** Univoroity, to 
oo prooonfc at ft fitting* of fcho fwownod oow»i»«ion to 
bo hold ftt fcho Court ttou«o in tHo Town of iltrt 
on tho I**h # 15th *»& loth dos* of l$*CU ft** 

following woro iHHMiont throagjhout the bookings* 

J« C* SSicholls, roproo^ntlng the Xntovaotlonol 

ffiefeoi Cow^onv of Connda 

Oliver 5i«ill # ropro#v:i:tisi the Stood Slofcol Conpoay* 


»•*# Foirllo, roprooontlng tfc*o S&»i?$g Corporotit. 

Of G0fl*>O&9 **ittit#Of 

J, . rofeoMoa* roprooonting fho 0*BHon Kint 

v u;^h Htorifc ooi .".'.oc'loJWiOi Ptproovntirij fcfco 

ImLjw>0O-«0|| f$inin££ Cottojutyt 

• • ftoid, roproacsfstine ftui Goniftgat Minoo, I 


## ixt, ropro»or>tln8 tho rut l*J*o Qold 

. .H. Forboo, roprooffntin&s *2bo Took Ifttghoo OoM 

Hifioo # Lin S tod* 

&♦ 0* XM90 # Foprooontlns ***• &fcor© JSlnoo, Liisi- 


i » ->»ftnt t roproooBti *%ignt ftsrgroavoa Hinea, 

14ml tods 

• i odfam, roproflontinf Ivanlto Ooid &im*a # 



. . Csapbell, rapres nting Castle ?rethewey 

ftSlnas, Idrilfcod; 

( r. | is, represen" ^clntyre Porcupine Gold 

Klnes, i ilto*' 

. .Dye, representing the Vipond consolidated 

Utnos, United | 

# • Pi hasj and A.Toun^, raprest g the Bollin- 
ger Consolidated ISinea, Linsltedf 

oneier, representing *&• TV< *wi £Hnea, Litai- 


. C* Batesaan, representing the Oatarie Mining 


H # A # Kee, fining rngineer ana operator; and 
^feasor R, . # Haultain. 

H*e market value of the Companies represented 
approximated a billion dollars * 

The Labour representative, Kr # v. r. aborts, 
wee else In attendance, ana the respective interests 
wore represented by the eejse counsel *he held briefs 
at the initial inquiry* 

On the opening of the sittings, 2 briefly in- 
formed those present the reason of the continued in- 
quiry and solicited their considered opinions upe» the 
various suggestions tfhieh were to be put bofore them* 

Having a proper regard of ny 1 Imitations eor- 
eernlng the technical matters to be discussed, X re- 
quested &tr # Palmer Heirw, a Mining Engineer whovti 
present, to assist counsel for the Cesssiaslon and be 
read|f to advise me If the occasion arose. He graci- 

ously and gratuitously complied . 

• 4 * 

Mr» # C» Bates* >eretary of the Ontario 
Sluing *esocietion t *ms also In attendances and, on 
ay sue est ion, acted as a Convenor of the* operator* 
and assisted tha (Joeaciiaaiors by suggesting, as a wit- 
ness, on© or were of these pro* ant who could speak 
authoritatively upon a particular subject to be in- 
troduced and thereby expedite and facilitate the in* 

t$r# f« F» utherlo: » of Inspector of 

•i.-\-" :'*•■■» He presented. 

In written forsa, a number of considered sue ©st ions, 
sotso of which he asked should be «ede additional 
regulatio .0 governing the operation of nines. The 
balance were introduced for the purpose of discussion 
and t I -.elr ad- ■ p 1 1 9 a if appro** . 

lr« Roberts, represent in. • the miners f also 
introduced ae»e proposed additions to the regain* i'-ns 

' -. , fc§ h ito ae lf nNI Misiiiifli l in Ce me el i I r. lofMtj 
advanced their merits. 

These new ami specific matters were put be- 
fore the t'-'eottiaftlon m&& witnesses were hoard at length 
on each subject* 

After Kr« wland had been heard, and in 

order to allow those repreeentlng the Industry to di- 
gest his and the Cocaalseion's suggestions, an adjourn* 
cent was taken until the following norntnr, Br* Bate- 
i, in the interval , assembled the operators and each 

o*tt«*r was fully considered and its purport mm! applica- 
tion welded, m that, or tho resu«ptlori, the *" ©©mission 
had the benefit of thoui£itful '.is sorts tions frosi export* 
•need tsen end thoso having a knowledge of the particular 
suggestions h« was, or they was*, referring to* 

Before the inet* ivy concluded, X named a Cowait* 

tee from these preaenfc. ooaroopc 

Q« Bell end 

J # c, filoholl* 

• . orbes «nd 
<?. Oretit 

* lunula and 

i * afceneon and 
belter Segsworth 


Klrkl*md- X*ket 



and requested that they eseet at the earliest saenent to 
review the evidence put in and further consider the 
suggestions put forward a Ceasaittee convened at 

Toronto on the 7th day of &*y # a- ieh meeting I 
utherland was present, with Professor ♦ . a ? % lde, 
of BeOill University* who, as a mine operator in the 

mth eaten tafces of Anorlcn, had considerable ex- 
perience in nine fires, fire fighting and mine rescue 
VtWfc* The aubctlasion of this Cetmittoo has been 
handed to ese. 

The problcta then became nine to unify and 

settle where there was diversity of thought and 
opinio. . 8y task has been oads easy in eonaecuenee 

• c - 

of the splendid co-operation of operator, ainor, and the 
Department of Sines, It exemplified, ft* tha part 

of tho operator, a d> sire by rule, regulation or isspli- 
oat Ion , to provide for the security and safety of work- 
men, and tha preservation of tha £OOd nacsa of tha 
industry, which ha* indelibly written itself into tha 
history of talnlne In Ontario, 

Labour was tolerant In its views and refrained 
from emberreaaing the industry by requesting ve»tioua 
recsula'io^a, Ihm mining industry of this Province 
employs and is served by off 1c lent, practical and law- 
abiding niners and wortocn. is coonendnfcior, is In 

accord with the opinion expressed by a responsible 
official of the United tetes 'LHiraau of filings wJien pro* 
sent at Titnmins at the titse of the fire. 

Turn the mind back upon the past: of the indus- 
try, and skat &©<*s the pie tuns of its active achieve- 
ments portray? he nlckel*copper mines of rudbary 
have operated for forty years and the geld and silver 
mines of tl is Province for twenty- five years, without 
the occurrence of ar underground fire. it was with 
warranted pride that Mr* Bateraan # in Ms remarks to 
tha Commission, referred to these facts « ftu 
record la illuminating and gratifylnc. It conf irme 
the opinion X have hoi \ baaed on experience, that 
operatl; engineers, as a class, are resourceful, 
tempering vision with stability, and always reliant. 


These wmm the men who gave their opinions upon tho sub- 
jects under discussion, 

9 statistics of accidents in the mines of 
Ontario indie* te that, with en expending industry, 
the •vem^ accident rata has deereaced. It Is to bo 
observer! that this oversee was made under the present 
mining regulations and Indies tee that the operator appre- 
ciates Me responsibility. 

In framing farther regulaMa ns, it is expedient 
to maintain and continue the distinct relationship of 
operator and inspector ^n& in doing so avoid multipli- 
cation of rulee that mlf$it embarrass the operator and 
retard operations without a practical purpose being 

The burdon of responsibility is on the operator 
and he has always accepted the obligation, the oper- 
ator uses initiative, is guided by experience mid knew** 
ledge, and acts in consonance 'it) rules and regulations 
aside by the department of Wines, 

Die Inspector* s duty, as I understand it;, Is 
to see that the mining regale l ere obeerved end to 
formulate further requirements as in his opinion the 
exigency suggests, 

P £fce Kitting Act of irio in its regulations 
having reference to the operatl ns of mines ehowa vis* 
ion, has breadth in its amplication, and is reasonable 

In ite restrictions. It i* the substance of the 
Joint UMWi#t and experience of the Department of 
Kin as and those representing the in&uetr . 

Kit) 00 In Ontario are to bo developed to 
considerable depth end eueh expansion bogete new oon- 
ditto:*. The peat is an experienee the reoeptlvo 
Bind profits from* To provide for the future ia 
the purpose of the suggestions herein subcsit tad* 

So natter how the industry is re&ulated* or 

regardless of the utmost vigilance of the operator 
and Inspector, uiiforeeoon accidents caay happen In the 
hnsar^oue occupation of mining* 

the submissions X herein *aico have. In the 
m*tn $ the joint approval of operator, labour and the 

:.c 1 specter of e f gives after full lieeuss- 
ion and mature thought* 

These suggestions put forward and not now 
adopted are held i abeyance for further study aa 
olr efficiency and ea&e&ieney caimot at p osent 
be estimated. 

X reeosmnd that the fining Act of Ontario 
i g the operation of mines be amended by vary- 

lag or adding therst - In substance the following sub- 
missions i» 

X # that every emu employed as an una r* 
fTound foreman (meaning thereby one who 
la exclusively engaged In supervising 
the work of other raen) shall bo able to 
give and receive orders in the English 

That m Inspector of Mines shell 
heve the right to suspend any f eroraan 
or mine captain who la not familiar 
with or docs not understand the require* 

ments of the regulations governing the 
operation of mines tm contained in the 
Hieing Aet of Ontario « 

3* that the words "above ground" in 
the first line ef faction 1G1, Sub- 
section 11, of the fining Act be dclot* 
ed and the recti on t*m& as follows* 

Ho building for thawing exploa* 
Ivea shall be maintained in connect- 
ion with any mine except with the 
written permission of the Inspector 
of ftines« a site ef tMs build* 
lug and tho style ef structure end 
equipment shall be subject to the 

approval of the Inspector* i i 
building shall be under the dlrec 
ion of the manager or some person 

- 10 ~ 

authorised by hieu > Quantity of 

explosives broutfit into any thawing 
house at any one tias shall not exceed 
the requl resents of tlm nine for a 
period of twer,ty*-four hours, plus the 
saount that, it may bo necessary to here 
thawing to saaintaln that, supply** 

4» That all underground structures neeee » 
ary for the Installation, oaint#nano« and 
repair of oachlnery and eqtpaent should bo 

|« That all fans easeept *Sk»oster'* fans 

should be placed on the surface and bo re- 
versible, and all underground fans should 
be in fire~pro^fed housing. 

c. That oil and grease kept underground 
bo oontd nod in suitable taoial recept&elae 
end should not exceed one weeX: 9 * S Ly« 

7. ijat there should be a aufflolent number 
of fire doors at ewory a tat ion where practi- 
cable, so that the shaft could be completely 
cut off fro® the rest of the taine, 

that all inflatable was to or rubbish 
should be taken to the surface* 

That e?;ift bosses and mine captains ahould 
certify at least onee a week that there is no 
aoeta&tla' of combustible waste or rubbish 

«» 11 m 

unuergrotin ' , except as noted 9 in the area 
ttieir euperwieios . 

10. that reeeue stations bo Seated, at a 

place selected toy the Chief Inspector of 
Mines in the Tiiwina, fcirfeXeJ&d I^alee end 
Sudbury mining areas f an A be In charge of 
one wan to be appointed by and tinder the 
eentral andi 'direction of the Department of 
Kin co. It should be the duty of such 
employee to tefce care of the apparatus, 
train men In the mines In hie area In res- 
cue work ana inspect and report upon the 
apparatus, If any, »elntained at any such 

XI • 'That each reeeue station should eon- 

tain the following or other e$ttipa*©*it to 
bo ultimately determined** 

1 Tool -heat* 
16 Oxygen cylinders » 1 able feet each, 
1 Portable Orsat apparatus for smiting analysis of 

nine air * 
1 neoeaeter for raeaauring ventilafcie 
1 PsychreaeteF for date ^aaldlty of nine air* 

1 H axinma and Ulnimm therwosseter. 

2 Cabinets ( V iret Aid) with extra bandages and splints* 
4 canaries for testing aine air for carbon isonoxido. 

-lf~co»tained oxygen breathing apparatus with 

aeoeaaorlea for testing repairing and 

1 ryrotart;.ic acid detector for determining earbon 

Monoxide in blood and air. 
C All*aervice Gas Masks with extra canisters, 
1 Iodine pen toxldo detector for indicating amount of 

carbon monoxide in the air of the alne* 
1 (Jeophone. 
1 Oxygen inhaler for a$&Lnlstorlr.r: oxygon in conjunction 

with artificial respiration. 


X G*yr»en pump for r««ehai»glng mmll fcanka for 

brer* g apparatus, 
1 Lifeline, 1200 feat, used by rescue orewa when 
easplorlno; minea after firea or explos~ 
loTna * 
12 ootric cap laopa with accessories and c hal- 
ing equipment* 
18 Approved type flashlights • 
20 Bottlea for collecting samples of mine air* 

The above equipment waa suggested and put be- 
for the Commission by the Chief Inspector of 
Mines at the Inquiry held at Kalley&ary* •• 
waa not Kh.m able, however, to definitely say 
it ahould be adopted in ita entirety* It 
should be at once reviewed by the Inspector 
and the Committee representing the operators 
mid finally determined. The equipment 
adopted ahould be used in all stations »o 
that, there would be uniformity* 

1£. That fire protection systems be installed 

at all underground crushers, tipples and in dry 
shaf ta« 

13, Hhat for the purpose of a uniform danger 
alarm, all mines in Ontario ahould have equipment 
for pumping into air lines a atenoh chemical to 
be selected and adopted by the Chief Inspector of 

14. tffcat readable signs showing 'he way to 


emergency exits should be >o«ted In prominent 
places underground and all mm should be in- 
strueted where these emergency exits are 

16 • That the Chief Inspector ef Mine* Bay 

order aa underground connection be made be* 
tweon adjoining ainot re he deeae it 
necessary for the aaf ety and protection of 
una^reroundi eoployeaa. 

This proposed regulation invadee the right of 
ownership, way involve an expense largely for 
the benefit ef an adjoining property and ether* 
wii*e open up contentious questions, fchlle 

Z deeta it expedient to ro oe wBe afl it ea a safe* 
guard in a ranote but possible contingency, 
thar« should be a provlao allowing the rirfht 
of appeal frees t&e order ©f the Inspector to 
a parson or tribunal to be doelded upon. 

— wmwi n m ' *m mm*m*m* »m 4m » < mH.* <im i M »nn w m» 

All of which is respectfully subwitted* 

coMiir-xoir . 

Toronto, ptewber 88th, 1028,